"The use of personal EVs in Kansas City is expected to grow significantly," Kelly Gilbert, executive director of the energy center, told Automotive News via email. "That growth presents substantial public health benefits by reducing local transportation emissions. As new electric vehicle models become more available and the used-vehicle market grows, Kansas City will need to make sure that there is a robust and affordable electric vehicle charging network in place."
Blink Charging, which builds pole-mounted EV charging stations for both public and private entities, sees streetlight and utility pole charging destinations playing a pivotal role in the company's business strategy and the overall future of zero-emission mobility.
"People can just be … a lot more comfortable if they're able to see infrastructure where they work, where they live and they're more inclined to buy an EV if they know that that infrastructure is available to them," said Michael Farkas, founder and CEO of Blink Charging.
Blink Charging's pole-mounted charging devices feature a mounting bracket and hardware kit used to attach the company's IQ 200 charging stations to any new or existing pole, transforming the location into a Level 2 charging station. The charging devices also are adaptable to the more power-efficient LED streetlight systems, enabling every LED streetlight to be converted into a potential charging point.
The city of Los Angeles, which began installing EV charging devices on wooden utility poles in 2016, is looking to ramp up.
L.A. plans to install 150 streetlight chargers annually, in a project spearheaded by the Bureau of Street Lighting and funded by the Department of Water and Power.
The city currently operates 430 streetlight chargers and 45 wooden utility pole chargers in the ongoing program with the two agencies.
The city aims to add another 40 new freestanding curbside charging locations per year, as part of a water and power department-funded partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BlueLA, an electric car-sharing service owned and operated by Blink Mobility, a subsidiary of Blink Charging.